The Super Blood Wolf Moon is coming to our night skies this weekend. The strange sounding moon is actually the coincidence of several lunar events. lunar eclipse, January’s full moon which is commonly known as the wolf moon and a super moon event which means the moon is unusually close to Earth.
The lunar eclipse, which occurs when the Earth casts a shadow on the moon will be the last one until 2021. A lunar eclipse i s relatively rare event. Once thought to be connected to spirits and astrology, science revealed the eclipses secret and we can now accurately predict when they will occur.
Unlike a solar eclipse, the full moon won’t disappear completely but as the sun's light will leak around its edges, causing the moon to glow a devilish red color, earning it the nickname “blood moon”. Full lunar eclipses usually only happen twice a year and each total eclipse can be seen from only one hemisphere of Earth. The last full eclipse occurred on July 27, 2018, and was visible across Africa and parts of Asia.
Find clear skies and look up
2018’s total eclipse will be the first eclipse to be able to be viewed in entirety in the Northern Hemisphere for more than three years. North America. If stargazers in the North miss this one they will have to wait until May 2021 for their next blood moon. For best viewing try and find a place without light pollution. So if you live in a major city you might want to consider taking a weekend trip.
The eclipse will last for about 3.5 hours starting from 10:34 p.m. ET (03:34 UT) and the final evidence of the eclipse will be able to be seen around 1:51 ET (06:51 UT). The moon will be covered by the earth for just over an hour. The moon will be at its bloodiest at 12:12 p.m. ET (05:12 UT).
But why does it go red?
During a full lunar eclipse, sunlight shines through the Earth's dusty atmosphere and is refracted towards the red part of the spectrum and cast onto the moon’s surface. As a result, the moon goes from its classic yellow-gray color to reddish orange. The exact color the moon will be depends on just how dirty the earth's atmosphere is. Volcanoes or other activities that produce atmospheric emissions can make the red quite dramatic.
In addition to experiencing an eclipse, the moon will be at a pedigree, its closest position to earth 59 minutes before the eclipse is due to start. This will make the moon look 13 percent larger and 16 percent brighter. Finally, the full moon in January is known as the Wolf Moon due to the energetic howling of wolves in mid-winter as they suffer from hunger. So if you are located in the Northern Hemisphere set your alarms now so you don’t miss this super special lunar event.